Bagels are probably one of the few baked goods I really missed while in Germany. Europe has us beat on croissants, baguettes, bread – in general – and a host of other things, but bagels are rather hard to find. Having lived in New York City for a summer, and experienced some of the best NYC bagels (Ess-a-Bagel, Brooklyn Bagel and Coffee Company, or Tompkins Square, depending on who you ask), I appreciate a good bagel – and especially a good bagel sandwich! If any of you have a favorite bagel shop, I’d love to hear about it!
Most summers, my mom and I go to the St. Paul Farmer’s Market together almost every Saturday. Alongside vegetables and fruits, and maybe some plants or flowers, we also had a tradition of stopping at Golden’s Market Bagel Stand. Selling coffee, fresh-squeezed lemonade, and delicious bagel sandwiches – your choice of bagel, toasted and topped with your choice of fresh, farmer’s market veggies, cream cheese, melty cheddar, and an egg – though the line was often long, it was well worth the wait! Sadly, though my mom and I have continued heading to the farmer’s market each weekend, the bagel stand has not appeared this summer due to COVID concerns. I sincerely hope it returns next summer, but in the meantime, I decided to take matters into my own hands by trying to make farmer’s market-style bagel sandwiches at home!
First step: making the bagels! Yes, you could also buy bagels – but why do that when you could enjoy the experience and taste of a fresh, homemade bagel at home, and better yet, choose exactly what you want in and on said bagel?
Having recently tried my hand at sourdough bread, I decided to make sourdough bagels! I think the sourdough flavor really goes perfectly with the other savory flavors in a breakfast bagel sandwich. Sourdough does require a bit of planning beforehand, as proofing takes time – this recipe is best started a day or two before you actually plan to eat the bagels. After adding in rosemary and garlic, and topping the bagels with some parmesan and everything-but-the-bagel seasoning – voila! I was ready to move on to the bagel sandwich toppings.
Fresh farmer’s market veggies definitely bring bagel sandwiches up a few notches, so those were a must. I also mixed some spices and parmesan into cream cheese to add another pop of flavor. (I made one cream cheese spread with too much dill flavor for my mom’s liking, but the other one – with just garlic and parmesan – met with her favor.) Cheddar and ham joined the fray, and we also invited a friend over who was a pro egg-fryer, cooking each person’s to order. Terrific toppings plus the homemade bagels made for some monstrous, jaw-stretching sandwiches, but oh were they delicious! If you’re looking for a way to enjoy some fresh veggies as the summer winds down, look no further!